About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
The cross of Christ
is a multifaceted historic event that can be viewed from various vantage
points of understanding, all of which help illuminate the full meaning of
Jesus' death. To the degree,
therefore, we understand all of what transpired on the cross will be the
degree to which we appreciate not only Jesus' death but Jesus Himself.
One vantage point
of understanding Jesus' death in New Testament terms is seen through the lens
of a purchase. 1 Peter 1:18
and 19 say:
"For you know
that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you
were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your
ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ ..."
Our English word
"redeemed" in Peter's statement is translated from the Greek
word "lytroo." In
the first century Greek speaking world this word was commonly used in
reference to purchasing the freedom of a slave with a payment.
In reference to Jesus this Greek word denotes the purchase of our
freedom from the bondage of an empty life by His blood, something the
Apostle Paul spoke of in 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 20.
"Do you not
know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom
you have received from God? You
are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore
honour God with your bodies."
Paul informs us
that a person in whom the Holy Spirit lives does not belong to himself.
He belongs to Jesus. To
belong to another is disgustingly offensive in our western-world culture
of independent individualism. Nevertheless,
Jesus has bought the rights to our lives with His blood, and for that
reason the New Testament views Christians as servants of Jesus.
The verb "were
bought" in the phrase "you were bought with a price" is a
Greek aorist passive indicative verb.
Aorist means that in one specific moment of time, which I believe
to be when Jesus said "it is finished," the process of purchasing
our lives was completed. Passive
means that we had absolutely no part in this transaction other than being
its recipients. Indicative
means the purchase of our lives, beyond any shadow of a doubt, was a certain historic
The fact Jesus has
paid the price to own us must never be omitted from the gospel we preach.
Jesus is not only the Christ who saves us: He is the Lord who owns
us. He has released us from a
life of uselessness into a life of usefulness.
We have been purchased with the very human life of Jesus.
This is the ultimate purchase of all-time.